Interviewing your contractor
When looking for the right contractor for your unique project, there are many things to think about. Although price is important, it shouldn’t be the primary reason to choose a contractor. So, what should you ask your prospective contractor? Here is a list of questions for you to think about, make your own, and then ask your contractor candidates. The most important thing is to trust your instincts and choose the contractor that you feel comfortable communicating with and spending the next 4-6 months working with.
Does the contractor:
- Have an online portal to ensure that everyone involved is familiar with the details, consequently eliminating “surprises” and possibly change orders.
- Does this portal give you 24/7 access to the details and progress of your build?
- Offer at least a 1-year written warranty?
- Include a 2-10 warranty offering insurance-backed protection and a 10-year structural warranty?
- Include Course of Construction insurance to protect you from loss during construction?
- Possess at least two million dollars in liability coverage and require all trade contractors possess similar levels, in addition to their own workman’s compensation insurance?
- Acquire proper permits and use licensed trade subcontractors such as plumbing, mechanical, and electrical?
- Have the proper contractor’s license and business license as required by your city, county, and state?
- Show clear and well-done photos of past projects?
- Have written testimonials from past clients?
- Practice clear communication in a timely manner consistent with today’s technology?
- Communicate well with you, including listening?
- Seem trustworthy and puts you at ease?
- Have an idea of how long the project will take to complete, and how long the design and planning processes will be?
- Have a guaranteed price using a written fixed-price agreement with a detailed contract covering what is included, and more importantly, what is NOT included?
- Have written agreements with trade contractors to ensure performance?
- Have a production schedule so that you know what will happen each day throughout the duration of your build?
- Actively participate in professional organizations to promote best business practices?
- Have certified staff showing professional education, such as the National Association of Home Builders Certified Green Professionals for performing energy efficiency analysis to help you save money?
Below you can download What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Home Builder, written by Choice Builders’ owner and author, Roger Thomas. This guide will help you choose a builder who is right for you.